In this article, you will learn about PAT, a project of Brazil's government in order to help providing nourishment to the ones who doesn't have a high income tax.
PAT (Programa de Alimentação do Trabalhador or Project of Employee's Nourishment) is a initiative of Brazilian government – in partnership with the companies and the workers – that provides services to employees with low income rates – in other words, workers who receive less than five minimum salaries.
It was created in July, 14th of 1976 by the president Ernesto Geisel, when Brazil was still under Military Dictatorship. It's aim is to improve the nourishment conditions of the employees, with positive repercussions to the quality of life, the reduction of accidents at work and the increase of productivity.
Who's benefited by PAT?
PAT provides benefits to employees, employers and to the government. To employees, there is an improvement in their quality of life and physical capability, and, consequently, an increase in both fatigue and disease resistances.
To the companies, which will have workers with more disposition, PAT helps providing more productivity, better integration between employees and employers, reduction in the number of workers being late or absent and reduction of staff turnover. There are also some fiscal benefits, like the exemption of social contributions over the value of nourishment provided and fiscal incentives, such as the deduction of up to 4% in the income tax.
With companies making actions in order to improve their employees' quality of life, the government is also benefited as less charges and investments have to be made in the health sector, but even so, there will be an increase in the social well-being and in the economic activity.
Do all the companies have to participate of PAT?
PAT isn't a mandatory service, but all legal entities that have hired at least one employee can participate of the project. The adherence is free of charges and lasts for undetermined period, which means that it's not necessary to repeat the application every year. The participating companies only have to annually inform their participation in the Relatório Anual de Informações Sociais (Annual Report of Social Information), also know as RAIS.
To participate, it's necessary to fill in an official form, available in the agencies of ECT (Empresa de Correios e Telégrafos or Postal and Telegraph Company) or in the website of the Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego (Ministry of Labor and Employment).
How can a company provide the benefit to its employees?
Companies that provide benefits to their employees are called beneficiary. Inside PAT, there are some modalities that can be used by the company:
- Autogestão: the company is responsible for the nourishment of the employee in its own establishment, being in charge of the contract of staff, preparation of the meals and distribution of food to the workers.
- Terceirização (Outsourcing): an outsourced company provides worker's nourishment inside the establishment of the enterprise who hired it. It's important to remember that this outsourced company must take part of PAT.
In the modality of outsourcing, there are four options for the companies:
- Refeição transportada (transported meal): the meals are prepared in an industrial kitchen and then transported to the work place. The beneficiary company hires an outsource company that will use the equipment of the beneficiary in order to prepare and distribute the meals to the workers.
- Refeição-convênio: the employees of the beneficiary company have their meals in restaurants that are associated to enterprises that operate with tickets, coupons and checks.
- Alimentação-Convênio: the beneficiary company provides tickets for the purchase of food in commercial establishments.
- Cesta de alimentos: the enterprise gives cestas de alimentos (boxes containing food) to employees.
It's not possible to give this benefit to the employees in cash.
There are also the companies that provide nourishment, cestas de alimentos and tickets for other enterprises. Those are called supplier companies. These companies have a specific form to fill in, different from the form of the beneficiary companies. Their application is also valid for undetermined period.